04 July 2024

AECOM highlights how engineering impacts on everyday life. This is Part 2 of a three-part series.

Adharta Krishandutt, Civil Engineer, AECOM

Adharta is a Civil Engineer within the Building Civils division in the Cape Town office. Her day starts off with a light-hearted catchup with her team before diving into work-related activities. Her role entails designing, planning and managing civil infrastructure for both private and public clients, mainly working on international projects around the globe. Adharta says that the primary focus in her career is improving service delivery, enhancing the environment and the overall betterment of the communities involved.

“I participate in multiple collaboration sessions with my colleagues where we brainstorm new ideas and find solutions to solving complex engineering problems on large-scaled projects.” This is despite only being at AECOM for 11 months. “Being thrown in the deep end is sometimes inevitable in engineering however I am part of a diverse team of brilliant individuals who are always willing to assist and support each other.”

Adharta also adds: “Since joining AECOM my journey has been truly fulfilling. I have been on a positive career trajectory from the start, and I have gained a sense of accomplishment as an engineer.”

Her career path was set in high school where Adharta’s flair for mathematics and physics, drove her to pursue engineering. It culminated with her graduating from the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban with a BSc in Civil Engineering, followed by five years of work experience.

“In terms of keeping that passion and drive alive, there are certainly two factors that encapsulate my love for engineering,” notes Adharta. The first, and the most important, is knowing that she has contributed to shaping the world to be a much safer, more innovative, and healthier place to live in, to a point where it becomes her personal commitment to make a positive difference in people’s lives.

Second is the ability to challenge herself, both technically and professionally, especially in high pressure environments. “It is definitely a thrill-seeking sensation for me. Once you combine the two, it literally fuels my passion for engineering.”

Adharta says the INWED 2024 theme of #EnhancedByEnginering reflects the overall impact that engineers have on society. “As people go about their daily activities, there is always some type of engineering in the background. Every time you open a tap or switch on a light, something as simple as that, there are engineering systems behind it that keep these necessities functioning and operational.”

She adds that female engineers continue to be hugely underrepresented globally. “It is not only important to address the skills shortages in engineering, but also aim to achieve gender inclusivity and equality within the profession. This aligns greatly with INWED’s purpose in focusing attention on the numerous opportunities available to women and girls who want to pursue a career in engineering or who are already working in the field.”

Adharta’s message to young girls, which is something she truly holds close to her heart, is when embarking on an engineering career, it is important to always remain true to yourself and believe in your abilities. Being a female entering a male dominated industry, there are internal pressures of having the need to change yourself, to feel accepted, obtain approval or satisfy others.

“Once you have mastered the ability to stay true to yourself, you have already accomplished the biggest part of the journey. Engineering is not only a rewarding and fulfilling career choice; your contributions go above and beyond to making a significant difference in this world,” concludes Adharta.

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